Coming back to school this semester is a refreshing feeling. One of the things that I love about the spring semester as opposed to fall is that the days get longer as it goes; as we slug on with our projects and schoolwork, we simultaneously get longer days, more light to enjoy with our friends before we head into the summer. That’s what I’m looking forward to, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had a relaxing winter break. My family recently moved to Austin, Texas after living in northern California for my whole life growing up, and I can honestly say it was a great change of pace. Spending time with my siblings in a new environment, going out to the movies on Christmas, and seeing my niece all gave me space to breathe for once—but the biggest thing was probably all the food. I felt like every other building I saw was a new restaurant to try, a new coffee shop to visit, a new place to experience. It centered me in a way I didn’t quite realize I needed.

Now back in the heat of it at school, it’s surprisingly nice to be busy again. Going through the immense amount of work it takes to help run Rush, get re-established in new classes, and at the same time play volleyball twice a week and go through job recruitment, I can’t say it’s been easy. But after a decent period of basic inactivity, it’s great to feel productive again. Not to mention, the weather has been amazing for a January.

Derek Jones

Derek Jones

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Los Gatos, CA PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @dmannjones On campus I have conducted environmental engineering research on water distillation methods, and you can currently find me serving as Vice President of my social fraternity and playing on the club volleyball team.